Dell data dump: More energy ammo for the procurement checklist

Two Dell-related green tech proclamations this week: First, the company has done one of those fun green math exercises and is calculating that its customers have saved an estimated $3 billion in energy costs and 29 million tons in carbon dioxide emissions by using OptiPlex desktop systems since 2005. Whether or not you buy that exact number, it's a pretty impressive sum to throw around, so I guess the company figured, why not.

Two Dell-related green tech proclamations this week: First, the company has done one of those fun green math exercises and is calculating that its customers have saved an estimated $3 billion in energy costs and 29 million tons in carbon dioxide emissions by using OptiPlex desktop systems since 2005. Whether or not you buy that exact number, it's a pretty impressive sum to throw around, so I guess the company figured, why not. And I noticed, so why not share it especially when pretty much every business is interested in saving money in one form or another.

So, how did Dell reach that amount? Partly by using the estimated $25 to $75 per desktop that customers can save simply by switching on power management features, which are a central part of the OptiPlex experience. Plus Dell has been trying to squeeze out energy consumption with each new generation of the series: the company's latest model OptiPlex 960 uses about 43 percent less power than previous models, as just one example.

Probably the more critical milestone to watch, however, is Dell's claim that it already meets the Energy Star 5.0 requirements that have been set in place by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency but that haven't actually kicked in yet as a mandate. One of the big differences between Energy Star 4.0 and Energy Star 5.0 has to do with increased efficiency requirements for the internal power supply (85 percent) and for the AC adapter (87 percent). The systems that fall under the early Energy Star 5.0 umbrella are Dell OptiPlex 760 and 960, Latitude E6400 and E4300, and Dell Precision M2400 mobile workstation.

One final note, if you want to crunch your own energy calculations for your Dell hardware (or would-be hardware), you can do so at this power efficiency calculator that shares configurations side-by-side.